On February 21, CNN hosted a town hall where those who witnessed the Parkland, FL school shooting as well as friends and family members of the victims were able to ask questions of Florida senators Marco Rubio and Ted Deutch, the Broward County sheriff, and a spokeswoman from the NRA.
The entire event was a debacle from start to finish and did nothing to shine a light on the real issues surrounding school shootings. However, one thing CNN’s town hall did accomplish is that it has given Republicans plenty of talking points and material for campaign ads heading into the 2018 midterm elections.
At one point, Sen. Rubio said that the only way we would ever get guns off the street is a total ban and confiscation of all firearms. His point was to show how impossible gun control would be in the United States, yet the entire crowd at CNN’s town hall cheered enthusiastically at this proposal. If this clip of the left cheering the idea of gun confiscation is not used extensively to drive people to the voting booth, then Republicans are missing a golden opportunity.
This is, of course, just one moment from the CNN town hall and the current gun control debate at-large that could backfire on Democrats in a big way. Right now, Democrats are pressing hard against the Second Amendment, and, in the process, they are driving Republican voters to the polls by the millions.
The biggest battle in midterm elections is always voter turnout. In the 2014 midterms, just 36.4% of eligible voters actually voted. Winning a Presidential election requires you to sway undecided voters and moderates. Winning a midterm election often just requires you to get your own party to show up in larger numbers than the opposition. This is why, historically, the party in power has favored poorly during midterm elections. Voters whose chosen party is in power are comfortable and content while voters whose chosen party is sitting on the sidelines are fired up and ready to take action.
There are, however, issues that can fire up a base of voters much more than their party not being in power, and gun control is one of them. Democrats believe that they can use gun control as a talking point in order to win votes in 2018.
However, if there’s one thing that’s for certain it’s that supporters of the Second Amendment are much more passionate about preserving their rights than the gun control crowd is about taking them away. Few issues drive people to vote for the GOP quite like the issue of gun control, and if Democrats really do decide to spend the next few months going after the Second Amendment in an attempt to fire up their base and sway moderates, they’ll be digging their own grave in the process.
It’s a strategy that the GOP is already starting to take advantage of. Speaking at CPAC, President Trump warned what would happen if Congress was given back to the Democrats, saying, “They will take away those massive tax cuts and they will take away your Second Amendment”. This single message could be the only one the GOP needs to hammer home in order to secure victories in 2018.
As Ben Shapiro, editor of the Daily Wire, said in his daily podcast, if Democrats really want to take a hardline stance against the Second Amendment, let them. In the end, they stand very little to gain and everything to lose. The fact that decision makers within the Democratic Party are unable to see this reality speaks to just how out of touch they are with the American people. It’s a lesson they learned the hard way in 2016, and it’s looking like they might have to learn it the hard way again in the upcoming midterm elections.
With all the polls pointing to a rough time for Republicans in the mid-term elections, the GOP desperately needed a point that they could rally their base behind. Suggestions such as complete gun confiscation or even an “assault weapons” ban provide that point, and it could be the boost that the GOP needs to turn the tables in 2018.
~ American Liberty Report